The eighth-generation 2020 Nissan Sentra breaks cover with better, well, everything. Built on a new platform, this is the last of the automaker’s sedans to get the corporate design language.
The 2020 Nissan Sentra’s visual connections to the larger Altima and Maxima sedans, as well as crossovers like the Kicks and Rogue, are obvious. The compact wears the same V-Motion family grille, slim LED headlights (optional), and floating roof found elsewhere in the Nissan lineup. Opt for the range-topping SR trim line and the Sentra gains a sport-style rear spoiler, black-painted side mirrors, larger 18-inch alloy wheels, and a darkened chrome treatment on the grille.
The 2020 Sentra gets some interesting exterior color choices to complement its new and improved bodywork. The single-color options include Electric Blue, Brilliant Silver, Rosewood, and Gun metallic; Aspen White and Scarlet Ember tri-coat; and Super Black and Fresh Powder shades. Nissan is also offering a two-tone color option for the first time on the Sentra, as the scheme proved to be popular on the Nissan Juke and Leaf. The two-tone color combinations on the Sentra are Super Black/Gun Metallic, Super Black/Aspen White TriCoat, and Super Black/Monarch Orange Metallic.
The interior also gets a makeover, and it seems as if Nissan peeked inside the Chevrolet Camaro for some inspiration, considering the three large fanlike vents in the middle of the center stack, with a standard 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system above it and a climate-control panel below it. There is also an option for an 8.0-inch touchscreen on the higher trim levels, which also upgrades the driver’s digital display from 4.2 inches to 7.0 inches. The upgraded system comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. The sporty, driver-oriented interior features a revised gauge cluster, a clean-looking central tunnel and gearshift, and a flat-bottom steering wheel. The cabin is filled with nicer materials at higher trim levels, bearing little resemblance to the no-frills sedan you’d expect to pick up from the rental fleet at your local Hertz or Enterprise.
It’s not all about showroom appeal, of course, as the Sentra also gets a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 149 horsepower and 146 lb-ft of torque. These represent increases of 20 and 16 percent, respectively, over the outgoing model’s lackluster 1.8-liter. A revised independent rear suspension and a new electric power steering system should hopefully contribute to a more spirited driving experience, as the current Sentra isn’t known for its sparkling dynamics.
Instead of the six trims available on the 2019 model, the 2020 Sentra starts off with three: S, SV, and SR. Building a sedan will be simple with just two option packages on offer. Every trim comes with the Safety Shield 360 features, plus 10 airbags, rear door alert, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, and Intelligent Driver Alertness, Intelligent Auto Headlights, and High Beam Assist.
The S sits on 16-inch steel wheels with full covers, and gets remote keyless entry with push button start. The SV comes with better cloth seating, dual-zone climate control, intelligent cruise control, the eight-inch infotainment system, heated front seats, remote engine start, and 16-inch alloy wheels. The SR adds a dark chrome grille and LED headlights and fog lights, black painted side mirrors, extended side sills, a decklid spoiler, chrome exhaust finisher, 18-inch alloys, and a sport cloth interior with orange stitching. Four-wheel vented disc brakes can be added to the SV and SR grades.